Daily archives: July 4, 2006

How to Sell your House for More

It’s the philosophy at the heart of How to Save the World for Free- cutting your energy use saves you money and, in the long run, pays you back more than the investment. The Energy Savings Trust has a game where you can increase the value of your house and save money.

via Eco Street blog

Technorati tag: ,

Confirmation of planning permission changes for micro-renewables

The full text of the Government’s news release-

Government to cut planning restrictions for micro-generation

DCLG News Release 2006/0049

04 July 2006

The Government is to cut planning restrictions on micro-renewable technology as a new report proposes streamlining the planning system for household applications.

Ministers today announced the Government will reduce planning restrictions for small scale micro-generation – including solar panels and small wind-turbines – as part of measures to simplify the planning system around minor developments.

The new report published today by the Government’s Householder Development Consents Review Steering Group says certain householder applications and those for small scale micro-renewable technology – such as solar water heating and small wind turbines – should be allowed to go ahead without the need for a planning application. The Government will publish detailed proposals on micro-generation which take account of size and the impact on neighbours in the autumn.

The review also proposes streamlining the planning system for household extensions that require planning permission but where neighbours do not object. The number of household applications has more than doubled over the last ten years yet the vast majority of these are approved with no objection at all. These planning applications create unnecessary costs and delays for householders as well as taking up time and resources for local planning authorities.

The review also says that the need for applications for extensions should be judged on their impact rather than volume or size. Current rules say that if you have already extended your home you may need planning permission for a simple dormer window or conservatory. These rules can also permit developments that overshadow or intrude on privacy simply because they meet arbitrary volume limits.

Following the report the Government is now examining ways to streamline and simplify the system. By focussing on impact, the Government is looking to remove unnecessary applications whilst increasing protections for neighbours. This means the planning system can focus more resources on major developments.

Yvette Cooper said:

“It is absurd that you should be able to put a satellite dish up on your house but should have to wrestle with the planning process for small scale micro-generation which is no more obtrusive and can have a real impact on tackling climate change. We want far more micro-generation to be treated as permitted development and we also should be able to simplify the system for small developments such as extensions.”

The Government plans to consult on detailed proposals in the autumn. Any changes to the system will come into effect in 2007.

The Householder Development Consents Review (HDCR) Steering Group Report includes eleven recommendations for making planning controls more proportionate, improving the customer experience and providing greater choice for householders through alternative service providers. Further reforms will be announced in due course.

The Government is also welcoming Kate Barker’s interim report on Land Use Planning today which makes clear that further changes are needed to increase the global competitiveness of the UK economy.

Notes to editors

1. The Householder Development Consents Review Steering Group Report published today including full recommendations is available via the following link www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1501259

2. The micro-generation study is the first phase of the Government’s response and forms part of a wider review of permitted development rights. The Government will consult on detailed proposals including a new Householder Permitted Development Order later this year. In due course the Government will also examine ways of streamlining the system for developments that still require planning permission but neighbours do not object.

3. The review was undertaken within the DCLG under the direction of a Steering Group which included representatives from the RTPI, Local Government, National House Building Council, Citizen’s Advice Service, Ashford’s Future and the Planning Inspectorate and was chaired until October 2005 by former Permanent Secretary Mavis MacDonald. Full details and terms of reference are available via the link above.

4. The Government already promotes the use of micro-renewable technology through the planning system through Planning Policy Statement 22: Renewable Energy. A DCLG survey of local plans published earlier this month reveals many local authorities are now adopting new requirements in their plans for on-site renewable energy in new developments. The Government is now urging all local authorities to do the same and will include this request in the new planning policy statement on climate change due out later this year.

Technorati tag: ,

Woods 4 Sale

I’m not sure what to make of this. Woods4sale.co.uk offers woodland for sale in England and Wales for “recreation, wildlife conservation and investment”. The site is primarily dedicated to the intangible benefits of owning some woodland, but they also give information on getting permission to cut down trees and erect buildings.

I would like to own a wood though.

Technorati tag:

Heavensent 6.11

The first explosion shattered the wood, bent the tracks and rocked the flatbed. The secondary blast, as the gas canisters went up, lifted the flatbed and threw some of the anti air crew off. The metal wheels dug into the soft plains earth and it began skewing off at an angle.

The locomotive followed the flatbed until the coupling broke and the rail car flipped over. The engine rolled over the flatbed, crashed off at its own angle and gouged a path through the seed grass. Prisoners and Lensman’s men scattered as it headed for them.

Emergency brakes were screaming on in the remaining carriages, but couldn’t stop the first three cars derailing. The stonks laid shots into these upturned boxes, turning the dark wood panelling into shrapnel.

One by one the autogunners dropped as Kess did his job. One of them ducked low behind the cover of his nest and kept firing wildly. Kess transferred his attention to the anti air at the rear of the train.

The bomb lobbers arced their first shots over the train and onto the track beyond. The crew dialled in some adjustments and landed their second salvo dead on the anti air, completing Kess’ task.

Former prisoners and Lensman’s squad had risen from the seed grass and were concentrating fire on the upright passenger carriage. They charged toward it, over confident.

Lensman could see the tactical mistake, and had his fears confirmed when a series of small explosions shook the rear boxcar. The carriage walls disappeared as a large calibre gun fired from inside. Five prisoners and two of Lensman’s men fell. The rest dived for cover and began returning fire.

The bomb lobber crew dialled in another correction and fired. The boxcar exploded.

Out of ammunition, the last autogunner moved to reload. Kess put a bullet into the narrow gap between the rim of his helmet and the top of the sandbag barrier.

There was a lull. Everyone moved more carefully toward the last boxcar and carriage. Lensman trotted up the track and joined Mov and Rey in checking the wrecked locomotive and carriages for survivors. There were none. The sound of smashing glass and gunfire heralded the last stand of the soldiers in the upright carriage.

Heavensent 6.10
Heavensent 1.1

Technorati tag: ,

Zero Energy Homes for the mass market

US company Ideal Homes has been building show homes for years which have included low energy and clean air provisions. For their latest they decided to go all out and see how cheaply they could build a zero energy house- one which fed as much electricity back to the grid as it consumed. The finished building came in at under $200,000, a price that they believe puts it in the range of most home buyers. The project has also increased the uptake of some of the technologies used in houses they’ve sold, a positive knock on effect in itself.

With the big push to build more homes perhaps the Government should look at giving tax breaks to builders who construct houses that approach zero energy or the people who buy them. It would only take a few people telling their neighbours about negative electric bills before everyone wanted some of that low energy goodness.

via Hugg

Technorati tag: ,

Plug in motion sensors

The First Alert hands free light socket has a built in motion sensor to turn the light on when someone enters the room and off after movement ceases. As it doesn’t seem to have a light level detector it’s best for windowless rooms. It would also be useful to know how much power the IR detector draws to work out whether it really will save energy and money. Amazon.co.uk don’t seem to have this product in stock.

via Hugg

Technorati tag: ,